Art as Art: Post Painterly AbstractionArt	  109A:	  	  Contemporary	  Art	  Westchester	  Community	  College	  Fall	  201...
Post PainterlyAbstractionIn the later 1950s, ClementGreenberg shifted his allegiance toa new style of painting he calledPo...
Post PainterlyAbstractionWhile deriving from AbstractExpressionism (in particular, thecolor field paintings of BarnettNewm...
Post PainterlyAbstractionGreenberg believed that AbstractExpressionism had degeneratedinto an easily reproduced formula:“A...
Post PainterlyAbstractionThe new artists he championedabandoned the “painterly” style ofAbstract Expressionism, in favor o...
Post PainterlyAbstractionHelen Frankenthaler was one of thefirst artists to signal the new trend                          ...
Post PainterlyAbstractionShe began pouring heavily dilutedpaint onto unprimed canvas so thatthe paint would spread and sta...
Post PainterlyAbstractionGreenberg saw this new techniqueas an “advance” because iteliminated the emotional qualities ofto...
Post PainterlyAbstractionThe technique was more“anonymous,” and thereforeenabled greater focus on theproperties of the med...
Post PainterlyAbstractionThe resulting pictures have adiaphanous watercolor quality, withlyrical clouds of color          ...
Post PainterlyAbstractionIn Frankenthaler’s pouredpaintings, impersonal processreplaced the emotional resonanceof gestureT...
Post PainterlyAbstractionIn 1953 Greenberg brought theWashington DC-based artistsMorris Louis and Kenneth Nolandto visit F...
Post PainterlyAbstractionLouis immediately began makinglarge scale paintings using thestaining technique                  ...
Morris Louis, Tet, 1958Whitney Museum
Post PainterlyAbstractionIn the “veil” paintings, the flowingpigment does not invite us toimagine the physical activity of...
Post PainterlyAbstraction“Greenberg and his followersapplauded Lewis for his‘honesty’ in making explicit thereal flatness ...
Post PainterlyAbstractionKenneth Noland also began to usethe stain technique                                   Kenneth Nol...
Post PainterlyAbstractionIn the 1950’s he focused on asimple target-like image (inspiredby Jasper John’s targets)         ...
Post PainterlyAbstractionThe target motif and staintechnique lent the pictures ananonymous quality, allowing theartist to ...
Post PainterlyAbstractionThe pictures became more “hardedge” in the 1960’s, and the artistalso began to explore othergeome...
Post PainterlyAbstractionJoseph Albers belongs to the oldergeneration of New York SchoolartistsAlthough not included inGre...
Post PainterlyAbstractionAlbers and his wife Anni came tothe United States when the Nazisclosed the Bauhaus               ...
Post PainterlyAbstractionHe became an influential teacher atBlack Mountain college and then atYale University             ...
Post PainterlyAbstractionThrough his teaching Albersbecame deeply involved with colortheory and perception                ...
Post PainterlyAbstractionIn 1950 he embarked upon hisHomage to the Square series,which would occupy him for thenext 36 yea...
Post PainterlyAbstractionThe series explored the opticaleffects of color“All this will make [us] aware of anexciting discr...
Post PainterlyAbstractionAd Reinhardt also belonged to theolder generation of New YorkSchool artists                      ...
Post PainterlyAbstractionHe was one of the 28 “irascibles”photographed in 1950 when theysigned an open letter protesting t...
Post PainterlyAbstractionReinhardt ridiculed the“transcendental nonsense” of hisfellow painters, and accused themof “pictu...
Post PainterlyAbstractionLike Clement Greenberg, Reinhardtbelieved that art should not expressanything at all“The one obje...
Post Painterly    Abstraction    His “Twelve Technical Rules”    defined art in terms of a disciplined    (self-critical) ...
Post PainterlyAbstractionIn the 1950’s Reinhardt beganworking on large scale canvasesthat appear to be monochromatic      ...
Post PainterlyAbstractionOn closer examination, the viewerperceives geometrical patterns andvariations in color and hue   ...
Ad Reinhardt, Abstract   Ad Reinhardt, AbstractPainting, 1957           Painting, Red, 1952Museum of Modern Art     Museum...
Post PainterlyAbstractionLike Albers’ Homage to the Squareseries, what first appears to besimple turns out to be extremely...
Post PainterlyAbstractionNothing in the picture makes usthink about the artist’s emotions orintentionsThe absence of “auth...
Post PainterlyAbstractionReinhardt’s pictures are thereforevery different from the emotionalexpressionism of the “actionpa...
Post PainterlyAbstractionAnd different as well from theatmospheric quality and broodingmood of Mark Rothko                ...
Post PainterlyAbstractionReinhardt’s paintings are “pure”paintings that do not refer toanything other than themselves     ...
“Ad Reinhardts work became                                              increasingly reductive and                        ...
“These canvases . . challenge the                                           limits of visibility. Reinhardt’s strategy    ...
“The kind of profound, self-reflexive abstractionhe advocated was partially a product of, andreaction to, the climate of C...
Anonymous PaintingSo one reaction to the deeply“personal” style of AbstractExpressionism was the explorationof an “anonymo...
Anonymous PaintingThe art historian Yves Alain Boishas identified several commonstrategies that artists have used “tobypas...
Anonymous Painting1.  The utilization of readymade    forms (like Kenneth Noland’s    targets and chevrons)2.  Deployment ...
Anonymous PaintingAll of these non-compositonal oranti-compositional devicesrepresent the antithesis of theimprovisational...
Anonymous PaintingEllsworth Kelly’s works from the1950s exemplify the use ofdepersonalized strategies toproduce “anonymous...
Ellsworth KellyKelly was a member of the AbstractExpressionist generationAfter World War II he studied art inParis and ret...
Ellsworth KellyHe pursued a style of “hard edge”abstraction that anticipated 1960sMinimalism of (though he did notlike eit...
Ellsworth KellyWhile the Abstract Expressionistspursued a personal, expressivestyle, Kelly explored an impersonalapproach ...
Ellsworth Kelly For this work, he began with a collage of colored paper arranged in a gridEllsworth Kelly, Study for Color...
Ellsworth KellyHe then painted individual panelsthat matched the colored squaresand arranged them on the wall             ...
Ellsworth KellyThe procedure for generating theimage was impersonal anddetached“Kelly arranged the sixty–foursquare panels...
Ellsworth KellyHe employed several of thestrategies for making “anonymous”paintings listed earlier:     The ready made: th...
Ellsworth KellyThe resulting picture does not invitespeculation about what it mightrepresent (illusionism), or what kindof...
Ellsworth KellyAs Frank Stella said explaining hisown Minimalist paintings, “Whatyou see is what you see”                 ...
"I have never been interested inpainterliness," Kelly has said, usingpainterliness to mean "a verypersonal handwriting, pu...
Ellsworth KellyIn the 1950s Kelly began workingon multi-panel pieces comprisingmonochrome canvases arranged ina sequence s...
Ellsworth KellyThe individual panels arecompletely without incident -- thereare no subtle nuances of color ortexture to di...
“I am less interested in marks on the                                              panels than the ‘presence’ of the      ...
Ellsworth KellyEven the titles are detached andimpersonalThey are blunt statements of factidentifying the colors of the pa...
Ellsworth Kelly, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red, 1966Guggenheim “With so few extraneous contextual elements, the experie...
Ellsworth KellyKelly’s preoccupation with color canbe understood in relation toClement Greenberg’s ideas about“self critic...
Ellsworth KellyWhile Greenberg identified“flatness” as the most distinguishingcharacteristic of painting, the criticE.C. G...
Ellsworth KellyGoosen argued that previousabstract painters failed to presentcolor in its purified state                  ...
Ellsworth KellyThey used color symbolically orexpressively rather thanappreciating its intrinsic value“This confusion is c...
Ellsworth KellyKelly’s “color chart” approach topainting isolates color as a “fact” or“thing,” presented withoutsymbolism ...
Ellsworth Kelly, Spectrum V, 1969Metropolitan MuseumImage source: http://www.artsjournal.com/man/2008/01/
Ellsworth KellyKelly believed that thisstraightforward presentation ofcolor as color was a more honestapproach to painting...
Post PainterlyAbstractionOther artists who pursued a purifiedstyle of abstraction include AgnesMartin and Robert RymanRobe...
Post PainterlyAbstractionMartin pursued a radically reducedstyle of painting that used thesimple format of a grid with reg...
Post PainterlyAbstractionWhile such an austere format mightsuggest something cold andimpersonal, the works areremarkably d...
Robert RymanRobert Ryman also explored aradically reduced style of painting,limiting his palette to white to focusattentio...
“Eliminating the unnecessary                               confusions of colour and shape,                               h...
"If someone is seeing only white,                               then theyre not really experiencing                       ...
“We have been trained to see                                   painting as "pictures," with storytelling                  ...
“The wall plays an active role in the                                         experience and meaning of Rymans            ...
Robert RymanLearn more about Robert Rymanby visiting the PBS Art:21 website                                     http://www...
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3.3 post painterly_abstraction

  1. 1. Art as Art: Post Painterly AbstractionArt  109A:    Contemporary  Art  Westchester  Community  College  Fall  2012  
  2. 2. Post PainterlyAbstractionIn the later 1950s, ClementGreenberg shifted his allegiance toa new style of painting he calledPost Painterly Abstraction Hans Namuth, Clement Greenberg, 1951 Image source: Saatchi Gallery
  3. 3. Post PainterlyAbstractionWhile deriving from AbstractExpressionism (in particular, thecolor field paintings of BarnettNewman and Clifford Still), PostPainterly Abstraction representedthe “next step” towards a morepurified kind of abstraction Barnett Newman, Onement I, 1948 MOMA
  4. 4. Post PainterlyAbstractionGreenberg believed that AbstractExpressionism had degeneratedinto an easily reproduced formula:“Abstract Expressionism was,and is, a certain style of art, andlike other styles of art, havinghad its ups, it had its downs.Having produced art of majorimportance, it turned into aschool, then into a manner, andfinally into a set of mannerisms.Its leaders attracted imitators,many of them, and then some ofthese leaders took to imitatingthemselves. Painterly Abstractionbecame a fashion . . . “Clement Greenberg, Post Clement Greenberg looking at a painting by Ken NolandPainterly Abstraction, 1964 Image source: https://www.artnet.sk/Magazine/features/kostabi/kostabi9-11-18.asp
  5. 5. Post PainterlyAbstractionThe new artists he championedabandoned the “painterly” style ofAbstract Expressionism, in favor of“physical openness of design” and“linear clarity” Clement Greenberg looking at a painting by Ken Noland Image source: https://www.artnet.sk/Magazine/features/kostabi/kostabi9-11-18.asp
  6. 6. Post PainterlyAbstractionHelen Frankenthaler was one of thefirst artists to signal the new trend Andre Emmerich, Helen Frankenthaler, 1961
  7. 7. Post PainterlyAbstractionShe began pouring heavily dilutedpaint onto unprimed canvas so thatthe paint would spread and stainthe canvas Helen Frankenthaler at work in her studio
  8. 8. Post PainterlyAbstractionGreenberg saw this new techniqueas an “advance” because iteliminated the emotional qualities oftouch and gesture still latent inAbstract Expressionism Ernst Haas, Helen Frankenthaler at work in her NY studio, 1969 Image source: http://www.ernst-haas.com/celebrity10.html
  9. 9. Post PainterlyAbstractionThe technique was more“anonymous,” and thereforeenabled greater focus on theproperties of the medium“In their reaction against the“handwriting” and “gestures” ofPainterly Abstraction, theseartists also favor a relativelyanonymous execution . . . .These artists prefer trued andfaired edges simply becausethese call less attention tothemselves as drawing — and bydoing that they also get out of theway of color. Ernst Haas, Helen Frankenthaler at work in her NY studio, 1969 Image source: http://www.ernst-haas.com/celebrity10.htmlClement Greenberg, PostPainterly Abstraction, 1964
  10. 10. Post PainterlyAbstractionThe resulting pictures have adiaphanous watercolor quality, withlyrical clouds of color Helen Frankenthaler Mountains and Sea, 1952 Artnet
  11. 11. Post PainterlyAbstractionIn Frankenthaler’s pouredpaintings, impersonal processreplaced the emotional resonanceof gestureThe works became more purely“optical” rather than illusionistic orexpressive Helen Frankenthaler The Bay, 1963 Detroit Institute of Art
  12. 12. Post PainterlyAbstractionIn 1953 Greenberg brought theWashington DC-based artistsMorris Louis and Kenneth Nolandto visit Frankenthaler’s studio Morris Louis, c. 1950. Archives of American Art
  13. 13. Post PainterlyAbstractionLouis immediately began makinglarge scale paintings using thestaining technique Morris Louis, Tet, 1958 Whitney Museum
  14. 14. Morris Louis, Tet, 1958Whitney Museum
  15. 15. Post PainterlyAbstractionIn the “veil” paintings, the flowingpigment does not invite us toimagine the physical activity of theartist or his emotional state Morris Louis, Tet, 1958 Whitney Museum
  16. 16. Post PainterlyAbstraction“Greenberg and his followersapplauded Lewis for his‘honesty’ in making explicit thereal flatness of the canvas.Michael Fried particularly praisedthe disappearance of ‘allsuggestion of the gestural,manifestly spontaneoushandwriting of abstractexpressionism.”Jonathan Fineberg, p. 156 Morris Louis, Tet, 1958 Whitney Museum
  17. 17. Post PainterlyAbstractionKenneth Noland also began to usethe stain technique Kenneth Noland, Beginning, 1958 http://www.kennethnoland.com/works/1950-1960.php
  18. 18. Post PainterlyAbstractionIn the 1950’s he focused on asimple target-like image (inspiredby Jasper John’s targets) Kenneth Noland, Selected Works, 1950-1960 http://www.kennethnoland.com/works/1950-1960.php
  19. 19. Post PainterlyAbstractionThe target motif and staintechnique lent the pictures ananonymous quality, allowing theartist to focus on the properties ofcolor and pigment Kenneth Noland, And Half, 1959
  20. 20. Post PainterlyAbstractionThe pictures became more “hardedge” in the 1960’s, and the artistalso began to explore othergeometric formats such as stripesand chevrons Kenneth Noland, Turnsole, 1961
  21. 21. Post PainterlyAbstractionJoseph Albers belongs to the oldergeneration of New York SchoolartistsAlthough not included inGreenberg’s show, his workparallels the trend towards purifiedabstraction Arnold Newman, Josef Albers, 1948 Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/32357038@N08/3647471979/
  22. 22. Post PainterlyAbstractionAlbers and his wife Anni came tothe United States when the Nazisclosed the Bauhaus Iwao Yamawaki, The Attack on the Bauhaus, 1932 Image source: http://www.csun.edu/~pjd77408/DrD/Art461/LecturesAll/Lectures/lecture07/ bauhaus.html
  23. 23. Post PainterlyAbstractionHe became an influential teacher atBlack Mountain college and then atYale University Joseph Albers with Elisabeth Schwerd at Yale University
  24. 24. Post PainterlyAbstractionThrough his teaching Albersbecame deeply involved with colortheory and perception Josef Albers: To Open Eyes: The Bauhaus, Black Mountain College, and Yale By Frederick A. Horowitz and Brenda Danilowitz; Phaidon Press
  25. 25. Post PainterlyAbstractionIn 1950 he embarked upon hisHomage to the Square series,which would occupy him for thenext 36 years“In his series titled Homage to theSquare, Albers produced an extensivebody of variations on a highly focusedtheme. Homage to the Square is acollective exploration of color andspatial relationships, in which Alberslimited himself to square formats, solidcolors, and precise geometry, yet wasable to achieve a seemingly endlessrange of visual effects.”http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/geab/ho_1972.40.7.htm# Josef Albers, Homage to the Square: Soft Spoken, 1969 Metropolitan Museum
  26. 26. Post PainterlyAbstractionThe series explored the opticaleffects of color“All this will make [us] aware of anexciting discrepancy between physicalfact and psychic effect of color.”Josef Albers, The Color in My Paintings(1964) Josef Albers, Homage to the Square: With Rays, 1959 Metropolitan Museum
  27. 27. Post PainterlyAbstractionAd Reinhardt also belonged to theolder generation of New YorkSchool artists Harry Bowden, Ad Reinhardt in his Studio, 1939
  28. 28. Post PainterlyAbstractionHe was one of the 28 “irascibles”photographed in 1950 when theysigned an open letter protesting theMetropolitan Museum of Art’sneglect of modern American art Nina Leen, The Irascibles, 1950
  29. 29. Post PainterlyAbstractionReinhardt ridiculed the“transcendental nonsense” of hisfellow painters, and accused themof “picturing reality behind reality”“The one thing to say about art is that it is onething. Art is art-as-art and everything else iseverything else.”Ad Reinhardt John Loengard, Ad Reinhardt, 1966 LIFE
  30. 30. Post PainterlyAbstractionLike Clement Greenberg, Reinhardtbelieved that art should not expressanything at all“The one object of fifty years of abstractart is to present art-as-art and asnothing else, to make it into the onething it is only, separating and defining itmore and more, making it purer andemptier, more absolute and moreexclusive -- non-objective, non-representational, non-figurative, non-imagist, non-expressionist, non-subjective. The only and one way tosay what abstract art or art-as-art is, isto say what it is not.”Ad Reinhardt John Loengard, Ad Reinhardt, 1966 LIFE
  31. 31. Post Painterly Abstraction His “Twelve Technical Rules” defined art in terms of a disciplined (self-critical) process of negationTwelve Technical Rules 1. no texture 2. no brushwork 3. no drawing 4. no forms 5. no design 6. no colors 7. no light 8. no space 9. no time 10. no size or scale 11. no movement 12. no subject Ad Reinhardt André Morain, Photo of Ad Reinhardt, Galerie Iris Clert, Paris, 1963 Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/loretomartin/3428547/
  32. 32. Post PainterlyAbstractionIn the 1950’s Reinhardt beganworking on large scale canvasesthat appear to be monochromatic Ad Reinhardt in his studio, 1955 Images source: http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2008/08/01/arts/01blac_CA1.ready.html
  33. 33. Post PainterlyAbstractionOn closer examination, the viewerperceives geometrical patterns andvariations in color and hue Ad Reinhardt, Abstract Painting, 1957 Museum of Modern Art
  34. 34. Ad Reinhardt, Abstract Ad Reinhardt, AbstractPainting, 1957 Painting, Red, 1952Museum of Modern Art Museum of Modern Art
  35. 35. Post PainterlyAbstractionLike Albers’ Homage to the Squareseries, what first appears to besimple turns out to be extremelycomplex and richly nuanced Tourists view an Ad Reinhardt Black Painting at the Guggenheim Museum Image source: http://www.voicesofthepast.org/2008/08/15/reinhardt-black-painting-conservation/
  36. 36. Post PainterlyAbstractionNothing in the picture makes usthink about the artist’s emotions orintentionsThe absence of “authorialpresence” forces us to remainfocused on the painting itself, ratherthan seek meaning elsewhere Ad Reinhardt, Abstract Painting, 1957 Museum of Modern Art
  37. 37. Post PainterlyAbstractionReinhardt’s pictures are thereforevery different from the emotionalexpressionism of the “actionpainters” Willem de Kooning, Woman I, 1950-2 Jackson Pollock, Cathedral, 1957
  38. 38. Post PainterlyAbstractionAnd different as well from theatmospheric quality and broodingmood of Mark Rothko Mark Rothko, Black on Black, 1958
  39. 39. Post PainterlyAbstractionReinhardt’s paintings are “pure”paintings that do not refer toanything other than themselves Ad Reinhardt, How to look at a Cubist Painting (detail) 1946
  40. 40. “Ad Reinhardts work became increasingly reductive and symmetrical in the 1950s and from 1955 until his death he worked almost exclusively in near-black.” Tate GalleryAd Reinhardt, Abstract Painting No. 5, 1962Tate Gallery
  41. 41. “These canvases . . challenge the limits of visibility. Reinhardt’s strategy of denial echoed his conviction that Modernism itself was a “negative progression,” that abstraction evolved as a series of subtractions, and he was creating the last or “ultimate paintings.” Guggenheim MuseumAd Reinhardt, Abstract Painting, 1960-66Guggenheim Museum
  42. 42. “The kind of profound, self-reflexive abstractionhe advocated was partially a product of, andreaction to, the climate of Cold War America . . .Reinhardt sought to create an art form that—inits monochromatic purity—could overcome thetyrannies of oppositional thinking.”Guggenheim Museum Ad Reinhardt working in his NYC studio Image source: http://www.matthewlangley.com/blog/2008/07/exhibiting-reinhardt- cadaver.html
  43. 43. Anonymous PaintingSo one reaction to the deeply“personal” style of AbstractExpressionism was the explorationof an “anonymous”“depersonalized” approach to artmaking. Hans Namuth, Jackson Pollock, 1950
  44. 44. Anonymous PaintingThe art historian Yves Alain Boishas identified several commonstrategies that artists have used “tobypass or suppress” a personalizedstyle: Art historian Yves Alain Blois
  45. 45. Anonymous Painting1.  The utilization of readymade forms (like Kenneth Noland’s targets and chevrons)2.  Deployment of chance procedures How to Make3.  Reduction of color to monochrome Anonymous4.  Application of grids to sytematize and unify Painting composition5.  Serialization, in which uniform elements are repeated
  46. 46. Anonymous PaintingAll of these non-compositonal oranti-compositional devicesrepresent the antithesis of theimprovisational and expressivemethods of action painting Hans Namuth, Jackson Pollock, 1950
  47. 47. Anonymous PaintingEllsworth Kelly’s works from the1950s exemplify the use ofdepersonalized strategies toproduce “anonymous” paintings Ellsworth Kelly, Colors for a Large Wall, 1951 Museum of Modern Art
  48. 48. Ellsworth KellyKelly was a member of the AbstractExpressionist generationAfter World War II he studied art inParis and returned to the UnitedStates in 1954 Ellsworth Kelly. Photograph © Jack Shear
  49. 49. Ellsworth KellyHe pursued a style of “hard edge”abstraction that anticipated 1960sMinimalism of (though he did notlike either of these labels) Ellsworth Kelly. Photograph © Jack Shear
  50. 50. Ellsworth KellyWhile the Abstract Expressionistspursued a personal, expressivestyle, Kelly explored an impersonalapproach to abstraction"I have never been interested inpainterliness"Ellsworth Kelly"I want to eliminate the I madethis from my work.”Ellsworth Kelly Ellsworth Kelly, Colors for a Large Wall, 1951 Museum of Modern Art
  51. 51. Ellsworth Kelly For this work, he began with a collage of colored paper arranged in a gridEllsworth Kelly, Study for Colors for a LargeWall, 1951 Ellsworth Kelly, Colors for a Large Wall, 1951 Museum of Modern Art
  52. 52. Ellsworth KellyHe then painted individual panelsthat matched the colored squaresand arranged them on the wall Ellsworth Kelly, Colors for a Large Wall, 1951 MOMA Photograph © Sid Gomez Hildawa, 2007 http://www.momahildawa.blogspot.com/
  53. 53. Ellsworth KellyThe procedure for generating theimage was impersonal anddetached“Kelly arranged the sixty–foursquare panels of the grid in anarbitrary sequence, likeninghis method to the "the work ofa bricklayer."Museum of Modern Art Ellsworth Kelly, Study for Colors for a Large Wall, 1951 Museum of Modern Art
  54. 54. Ellsworth KellyHe employed several of thestrategies for making “anonymous”paintings listed earlier: The ready made: the color squares were commercially made Chance procedures: the color sequences were arranged by chance Reduction of color to monochrome: each square is a monochrome Application of grids: the squares are arranged in a grid Ellsworth Kelly, Colors for a Large Wall, 1951 Museum of Modern Art
  55. 55. Ellsworth KellyThe resulting picture does not invitespeculation about what it mightrepresent (illusionism), or what kindof emotion it might convey(expressionism or symbolism) Ellsworth Kelly, Colors for a Large Wall, 1951 Museum of Modern Art
  56. 56. Ellsworth KellyAs Frank Stella said explaining hisown Minimalist paintings, “Whatyou see is what you see” Ellsworth Kelly, Colors for a Large Wall, 1951 Museum of Modern Art
  57. 57. "I have never been interested inpainterliness," Kelly has said, usingpainterliness to mean "a verypersonal handwriting, putting markson a canvas." There is no personalhandwriting, nor even any marks assuch, in Colors for a Large Wall . . .Not even the colors themselves, ortheir position in relation to eachother, could be called personal . . .Believing that "the work of anordinary bricklayer is more valid thanthe artwork of all but a very fewartists," he fused methodicalprocedure and a kind of apolloniandetachment into a compositionalprinciple.Museum of Modern Art Ellsworth Kelly, Colors for a Large Wall, 1951 Museum of Modern Art
  58. 58. Ellsworth KellyIn the 1950s Kelly began workingon multi-panel pieces comprisingmonochrome canvases arranged ina sequence suggesting a colorchart Ellsworth Kelly, Red Yellow Blue White and Black, 1953 Art Institute of Chicago
  59. 59. Ellsworth KellyThe individual panels arecompletely without incident -- thereare no subtle nuances of color ortexture to distract from thestraightforward presentation ofcolor as color Ellsworth Kelly, Red, Yellow, Blue II, 1965 Milwauke Art Museum
  60. 60. “I am less interested in marks on the panels than the ‘presence’ of the panels themselves. In ‘Red, Yellow, Blue,’ the square panels present color.” Ellsworth KellyEllsworth Kelly, Red, Yellow, Blue II, 1965Milwaukee Art Museum
  61. 61. Ellsworth KellyEven the titles are detached andimpersonalThey are blunt statements of factidentifying the colors of the panels Ellsworth Kelly, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red, 1966 Guggenheim
  62. 62. Ellsworth Kelly, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red, 1966Guggenheim “With so few extraneous contextual elements, the experience of the work of art becomes exclusively optical.” Milwauke Art Museum
  63. 63. Ellsworth KellyKelly’s preoccupation with color canbe understood in relation toClement Greenberg’s ideas about“self critical activity” and isolatingspecific properties of the medium Clement Greenberg looking at a painting by Ken Noland Image source: https://www.artnet.sk/Magazine/features/kostabi/kostabi9-11-18.asp
  64. 64. Ellsworth KellyWhile Greenberg identified“flatness” as the most distinguishingcharacteristic of painting, the criticE.C. Goosen declared in 1964 thatcolor was its most unique aspect “Color, disposed upon the two- dimensional surface . . . is the prime characteristic that distinguishes painting from its sister arts.” E.C. Goosen, 8 Young Artists, 1964 Ellsworth Kelly, Spectrum I, 1953 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Image source: http://www.tate.org.uk/tateetc/issue16/colourchart1.htm
  65. 65. Ellsworth KellyGoosen argued that previousabstract painters failed to presentcolor in its purified state Robert Motherwell, Elegy to the Spanish Republic, 1957-61 Museum of Modern Art
  66. 66. Ellsworth KellyThey used color symbolically orexpressively rather thanappreciating its intrinsic value“This confusion is common to theromantic mentality, which fails toappreciate experience for its ownintrinsic value and is forever tryingto elevate it by complications andassociations. Red cannot simply bered, but must be lips, or blood, orfire. And even when it is acceptedthat red must be red, it must still bepresented as dynamic, involved intensions, in conflict with yellow orblue, etc. In other words, theromantic prejudice seekseverywhere to find ‘subject matter.’”E.C. Goosen, 8 Young Artists, 1964 Robert Motherwell, Elegy to the Spanish Republic, 1957-61 Museum of Modern Art
  67. 67. Ellsworth KellyKelly’s “color chart” approach topainting isolates color as a “fact” or“thing,” presented withoutsymbolism or romantic allusion “The form of my painting is the content” Ellsworth Kelly Ellsworth Kelly, Spectrum I, 1953 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Image source: http://www.tate.org.uk/tateetc/issue16/colourchart1.htm
  68. 68. Ellsworth Kelly, Spectrum V, 1969Metropolitan MuseumImage source: http://www.artsjournal.com/man/2008/01/
  69. 69. Ellsworth KellyKelly believed that thisstraightforward presentation ofcolor as color was a more honestapproach to painting“Making art has first of all to do withhonesty. My first lesson was to seeobjectively, to erase all ‘meaning’ ofthe thing seen. Then only could thereal meaning of it be understoodand felt.”Ellsworth Kelly Ellsworth Kelly, Spectrum V, 1969 Metropolitan Museum of Art
  70. 70. Post PainterlyAbstractionOther artists who pursued a purifiedstyle of abstraction include AgnesMartin and Robert RymanRobert RymanImage source: http://www.pbs.org/art21/artists/ryman/index.html# Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Agnes Martin Image source: http://www.greenfield-sanders.com/portraits/art
  71. 71. Post PainterlyAbstractionMartin pursued a radically reducedstyle of painting that used thesimple format of a grid with regulargeometric patterns rendered ingraphite Agnes Martin, Morning, 1965 Tate Gallery
  72. 72. Post PainterlyAbstractionWhile such an austere format mightsuggest something cold andimpersonal, the works areremarkably delicate and poetic Agnes Martin, The Tree, 1964 Museum of Modern Art
  73. 73. Robert RymanRobert Ryman also explored aradically reduced style of painting,limiting his palette to white to focusattention on the materiality of paintand its physical support“It was never my intention to makewhite paintings,” he insisted in a 1986interview with critic Nancy Grimes.“And it still isn’t. . . . The white is just ameans of exposing other elements ofthe painting.” These “other elements”include varieties of paint (oil andacrylic) and supports (canvas, paper,and metals), as well as the process ofbinding them.”Guggenheim Museum Robert Ryman, Untitled, 1961 Museum of Modern Art
  74. 74. “Eliminating the unnecessary confusions of colour and shape, he explores the physicality of painting as an object, heightening his viewers sensitivity to subtle variations of material, brushwork and attention to the edges.” http://www.haunchofvenison.com/en/ index.php#page=home.artists.robert_rym anRobert Ryman, Untitled, 1965Museum of Modern Art
  75. 75. "If someone is seeing only white, then theyre not really experiencing my paintings... the white is just part of the structure of the painting in order to make things visible. With white you can see the edges and the whole means that make up the composition." http://www.haunchofvenison.com/en/ index.php#page=home.artists.robert _rymanRobert Ryman, Untitled, 1965Museum of Modern Art
  76. 76. “We have been trained to see painting as "pictures," with storytelling connotations, abstract or literal, in a space usually limited and enclosed by a frame which isolates the image. It has been shown that there are possibilities other than this manner of "seeing" painting. An image could be said to be "real" if it is not an optical reproduction, if it does not symbolize or describe so as to call up a mental picture. This "real" or "absolute" image is only confined by our limited perception.” Robert Ryman http://www.diabeacon.org/exhibs_b/ryman/ essay.htmlRobert Ryman, Surface Veil, 1970Museum of Modern Art
  77. 77. “The wall plays an active role in the experience and meaning of Rymans works . . . "If you were to see any of my paintings off of the wall, they would not make any sense at all . . . unlike the usual painting where the image is confined within the space of the paint plane," the artist has pointed out.” http://www.diabeacon.org/exhibs_b/ryman/ essay.htmlRobert Ryman at Pace Wildenstein, 2006
  78. 78. Robert RymanLearn more about Robert Rymanby visiting the PBS Art:21 website http://www.pbs.org/art21/artists/ryman/index.html

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